"Collections" refers broadly to the various tools that creditors have at their disposal to get payment from debtors who are not paying what they owe. There are many Washington, North Carolina laws and regulations concerning the conduct of collections agencies, and what they can and cannot do in order to collect.
What if I Am Owed Money in Washington, North Carolina?
If you are owed money and the debtor refuses to pay, you have some options at your disposal. However, you must tread lightly when it comes to collecting your debts. Creditors and collectors are governed by specific consumer protection laws. Violating these laws can hurt your chances of recovering what you are owed, and even subject you to civil or criminal penalties.
For example, when trying to collect, creditors are not allowed to use abusive language, contact any third party regarding the debt, and of course they are not allowed to use threats of violence in an attempt to get their money.
One thing you are allowed to do is send a written demand for immediate payment. The demand should lay out the precise amount you believe is owed, so the debtor cannot plausibly claim ignorance of that fact. If a lot of money is involved, it might be wise to hire a Washington, North Carolina collections agency. If you go this route, it is necessary to make sure that you hire an agency that is trustworthy, and follows the relevant law to the letter.
What if Someone Is Trying to Collect Money Against Me in Washington, North Carolina?
If you truly owe the money being sought, and you are able to pay it, you should of course do so. If the collection caller is behaving amicably, you should do the same. Even if the caller doesn't behave in an amicable manner, you should resist the urge to respond in kind, and ask to speak with a supervisor, or simply end the conversation. Whatever you do, you should never ignore the issue. This will not make the problem go away.
However, you do have some options in Washington, North Carolina. First of all, you should make an effort to get in direct contact with the creditor, as opposed to the collection agency, and try to work something out. If this fails, you can tell the collections agency to cease calling you, and they typically are obliged to do so. Of course, this doesn't expunge the debt, but it can buy you some time. You should know, however, that when you show that you are not interested in dealing with the creditors or collectors directly, they will usually resort to a lawsuit.
If you have hired a Washington, North Carolina attorney to help you through this process, he or she may advise that you declare bankruptcy. Once this occurs, creditors are legally barred from trying to collect against the debtor. Of course, this is a major decision, and should not be made lightly.
How Can a Washington, North Carolina Collections Attorney Help?
If you believe that a creditor is violating the law in its effort to collect from you, you should get in touch with a Washington, North Carolina attorney, since you may actually have a claim for damages against the creditor.
Also, if you're considering applying for bankruptcy, a seasoned attorney in North Carolina can tell you if this is a good option, and, if it is, help you through the process.